PRESERVED FOR A PURPOSE
David prayed, “Preserve me, O God: for in thee do I put my trust” (Psalm 16:1). The Hebrew word that David uses for preserve in this verse is packed with meaning. It says, in essence, “Put a hedge around me, a wall of protective thorns. Guard me and keep me. Observe my every move, all my comings and goings.”
David fully believed that God preserves the righteous. And Scripture says David was helped and preserved in all his ways. This blessed man declared, “He that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is thy keeper…thy shade upon thy right hand. The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul” (Psalm 121:4–7).
The same Hebrew word for preserve appears in this passage also. Once again, David is speaking of God’s divine hedge, the supernatural wall of protection. He is assuring us, “God keeps his eye on you everywhere you go.”
Indeed, the Lord is with us in all places: at work, at church, while we’re shopping. He’s with us in our cars, on buses, on subways. And all the while, David says, God is preserving us from evil. In short, our God has every base covered. He has promised to thwart every possible weapon formed against his children.
Time after time, our God has proved himself a preserver to his people. Yet, for what purpose? Why is the Lord so intent on preserving us? We find a clue in Moses’ words: “The Lord commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as it is at this day” (Deuteronomy 6:24). Moses says God gave them the commandments for one reason: to preserve and keep them. But for what? The same reason God wants to save and protect us.
Think of all the ways God preserved his chosen people, Israel. He protected them from the ten plagues in Egypt. He delivered them from Pharaoh’s army at the Red Sea. He healed them from deadly snakebites in the desert. And the people testified of God’s preserving power to their children and grandchildren: “The Lord delivered us from all our enemies. He gave us food and water, and kept our clothes from wearing out. He has preserved Israel through everything.”
But is that all there was to Israel’s testimony? Were these people preserved and protected just to end up dying in the wilderness? Moses stated, “He brought us out from thence, that he might bring us in, to give us the land which he sware unto our fathers” (Deuteronomy 6:23). Moses was telling Israel, “Look at all the miraculous ways God has brought you out of bondage. What do you think that was all about? Why do you think he chose you and marked you as special from the foundation of the world? Why did he deliver you from slavery? Why did he bless you when you deserved to be abandoned?”
The Lord has preserved you so he can take you someplace. He wants to accomplish something in your life beyond all the miracles. The Lord preserved the Israelites and put a wall around them for a specific purpose: to bring them into a place of usefulness. He was leading them to the Promised Land, a place of destiny.